Zaheen Nanji, speaker, resilience teacher, award winning author of “Attract Your Ideal Weight” and “The Resilience Reflex” answers 7 questions about the inspiration behind her writing books for individuals who want to move forward, overcome their obstacles and embrace change.
Zaheen was able to overcome many struggles throughout her life. She bounced back from not being able to speak because of her speech impediment, and from moving halfway across the world from Africa, without her parents at the age of 15. She was once 40 pounds overweight. Yet today she is the owner of two successful businesses, a health and wellness centre, and a professional speaking career. She has managed to complete her university education in Nutrition & Food Science, and Environmental Health. She is currently employed in her chosen field of study and she has been featured in Women Business Owners Today. Her new release “The Resilience Reflex” is now an Amazon Bestseller.
Embracing change and fear is Zaheen’s trademark because she herself overcame struggles with her speech, her weight, living in a country full of war, civil unrest and turbulence and starting over by learning how to live in a new country.
Yvonne Wu: Thanks for this interview, Zaheen. Can we begin by having you tell us what started your writing?
Zaheen Nanji: When I share my story about overcoming my speech impediment or coming to Canada from Kenya, as a teenager without my parents, people always ask how I overcame such obstacles. It was as if they were looking for a secret formula to being resilient or finding success. I thought nothing of it. However, most recently, as I’ve built 2 businesses – a wellness centre and my professional speaking career – while working full-time, many women have been asking me a simple question, “How do you do it?” I really had to look internally and ask myself, “Do I have a formula that I could share with others to help them overcome challenges and move forward?” This is how the book was born.
YW: The title of your book, what does it mean?
ZN: The Resilience Reflex means building your mental resilience muscle by learning simple techniques to easily manage challenges or change, and have the ability to bounce back.
YW: Your book mentions the term “blame mindset” what do you mean?
ZN: A “blame mindset” occurs when we are faced with challenges and automatically most of us will say things such as:
“Why do I have this problem?”
“How long will this continue?”
“Whose fault is it?”
When we use this type of language we are taking up a “blame mindset” instead of an outcome or solution mindset and we are sending messages to our subconscious that we are still oppressed and lack choices. There are alternative questions that one can ask to create an “outcome mindset” and I have laid that out in my book, The Resilience Reflex.
YW: How does this story resonate with women and men?
ZN: This story will resonate with women because I’ve included stories about being a woman who manages family, life and business. I’ve also spoken about how my mother balanced her life and business and became very successful.
This book could resonate with men because of the tools and logical steps provided.
YW: What is your best advice for beginning writers?
ZN: Put some time aside every week to write and find a book coach who can help you strategize your outline.
YW: What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
ZN: With all that I did – working, managing a family, running the wellness centre and building my professional speaking career, I thought I didn’t have time to write. The only day I had was Sunday, but I wanted to spend that time with my family. After speaking to my coach, he pointed out that I could sacrifice a few hours in the early morning. So I did. I wrote and researched every Sunday morning between 5 and 11 a.m. for 5 months.
YW: Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
ZN: To purchase my book The Resilience Reflex one can either go online to Amazon or go to my website, http://zaheennanji.com.